Consumer perceptions of online advertising of weight loss products: the role of social norms and perceived deception

Joon Soo Lim, Tamara Makana Chock, Guy J. Golan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Despite the prevalence of unsubstantiated claims in online advertising of weight loss products (OAWP), consumers tend to believe they are less susceptible to advertising claims than others. Based on a sample of American women (N = 684), drawn from Mechanical Turk, the current study examined the third-person effect of OAWP. After confirming the robustness of the third-person perception hypothesis, a structural equation model examined the third-person effect (TPE) of OAWP on restrictive and corrective actions. On the perceptual component of TPE, the model also elaborates the effects of descriptive and injunctive norms, usage of weight loss products, and perceived deception on the presumed influence of OAWP on self and others. The results of SEM implied that prior use and injunctive norms played important roles in the likelihood that consumers support government regulation and engage in corrective action. Results also showed that as perceived deception of OAWP increased, so did the perceived influence of OAWP on others. Perceived deception also significantly increased support for government regulation of OAWP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Marketing Communications
StateAccepted/In press - May 5 2018



  • bogus claims
  • Deceptive advertising
  • descriptive norms
  • injunctive norms
  • third-person effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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